St. Maarten loans total 205M euros

THE HAGUE–The St. Maarten Government has taken 205 million euros in loans from the Dutch Government, of which the majority, 121 million euros, is the result of the refinancing of existing loans when St. Maarten became a country in 2010.

Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk on Friday provided the Dutch Parliament an overview of the remaining loans to Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten. Member of the Second Chamber André Bosman of the liberal democratic VVD party had asked for this overview last week.

The Dutch Government took over a number of loans when Curaçao and St. Maarten attained country status on October 10, 2010. These loans were refinanced through the Netherlands against a better interest rate.

For St. Maarten, it concerned 121 million euros and for Curaçao 657.6 million euros. The loans have a 10 to 30 year term and will result in repayments by the Dutch Caribbean countries in the period 2016-2040. Part of the debts of Curaçao and St. Maarten were reorganised, taken over by the Netherlands as part of the constitutional restructuring process.

In the years after 2010, Curaçao and St. Maarten were able to take loans through the open tendering of the Netherlands. St. Maarten took loans for a total of 84 million euros and Curaçao for 300.5 million euros.

Plasterk provided a break-down of the loans of Curaçao and St. Maarten, as well as Aruba, which involved much smaller amounts. According to the provided overview, St. Maarten in total took 10 loans. Five of these loans, for amounts of 19.9 million euros, 29.4 million euros, 31.5 million euros and two times 20 million euros have as end term October 2020.

St. Maarten’s five other loans have an end term of 2023 and later. It concerns a loan of 10.6 million euros which ends in October 2023, a loan of 15.9 million euros with the end date June 2029, a loan of 18.8 million euros which lapses in June 2034, a loan of 24.8 million euros with the end date June 2044 and a loan of 13.9 million euros ending in November 2044.

The 2010 Financial Supervision Kingdom Law limits the annual interest payments, the so-called interest charge norm, of Curaçao and St. Maarten to a maximum of five per cent of the average revenue of the collective sector over the previous three years.

Curaçao and St. Maarten currently have a maximum borrowing capacity of respectively NAf. 3.9 billion and NAf. 1 billion at an interest of 3 per cent. Curaçao currently uses 56 per cent of its borrowing capacity and St. Maarten 43 per cent.

Aruba has also taken a few loans. Between 1991 and 1995, loans were issued to Aruba by the Netherlands Investment Bank for Developing Countries, NIO, an organisation that doesn’t exist anymore. The loans served to finance projects to strengthen Aruba’s economy. Aruba still has to repay 19.1 million euros before the end date of 2027.

The Netherlands also issued guarantee loans on behalf of Aruba between 1986 and 1990. These concern guarantees to Aruba in case the country was unable to comply with its repayment obligations. The volume of these guarantees has decreased over the past years. Currently the amount of these guarantees stands at 3.4 million euros with an end date of 2019.

Source: The Daily Herald